Gear Review: Haglöfs Matrix 40
Haglöfs Matrix 40:
This is the 2010 version, (the new version looks completely different and has different features!), which I use as my daypack, it’s quite narrow but is deceptively larger than most 40L packs in terms of capacity, plus it’s certainly both comfortable and capable. It is made from high denier nylon all over, reinforced at the base, and PU-coated in the relevant places. The dual-density foam of the hipbelt and shoulder straps is firm, but comfortably snug, and the thermo-formed back panel, whilst lacking airflow channels and the other gizmos many other modern packs have, is supportive and no more sweaty than any other pack I’ve used.
It has front elastics, stretch wand pockets at the sides, external access to the sleeping bag compartment, (which can be partitioned internally), hook & loop ice axe retainers and hidden ice axe loops. The wand pockets are somewhat shallow, but are again large enough to take a wide-mouth, 1L Nalgene bottle, or a tripod. The shallowness of the pockets might result in a dropped bottle in the right circumstance, but I always affix mine to the shoulder strap using a wire-gate krab. The floating lid adds around 10L and has both internal and external pockets, whilst the internal collar possesses a unique, ‘one movement’ closure system which I managed to break quite quickly. I spoke to Haglofs UK via email and the store of purchase were very amicable, and replaced the item swiftly with no qualms. Furthermore, I have not had a problem with the system on several, subsequent occasions since so I guess it was just a freak break.
For a 40L, this is a pretty big bag, due to the sleeping bag compartment, which will take the Alpkit Kangri if tent and poles are separated, or the ME Snowline if well stuffed. Also contributing to the overall size is the floating lid underneath which, when the internal pack is full, will take a map, a large water proof jacket or midlayer, and overtrousers. The outer lid pocket is quite sizeable also.
Aside from the aforementioned break, this pack has proven itself to be robust and well constructed. It is a joy to carry, even when fully loaded. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this pack. It’s a damned shame they’ve completely changed the design recently.